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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chicken Pasta Salad

Somehow, all the 'in progress' photos from this meal were deleted.  Don't ask me how, but they are gone.  So this is what you get, just finished product photos. Luckily this is an easy recipe, so the photos of the process are really quite unnecessary anyway. 
This is a cold chicken pasta salad, which is actually quite good warmed as well...so you can eat it either way, whichever your taste buds prefer more.
I liked it cold, Logan liked it hot...you choose.
This recipe calls for greek yogurt (which is what makes it lighter than your average pasta salad), and as I went to grab the Greek yogurt from the fridge I realized I made an epic mistake while grocery shopping.  Aren't those the worst kinds of mistakes, really?
Instead of plain yogurt I bought vanilla!!!!!!!! EPIC FAIL!
You can't put vanilla yogurt in a pasta salad!
So after grieving for a minute and attempting to ask a neighbor to save me, I put on my big girl pants, sucked it up and began to think of a solution.
It was about 6pm and this meal had to be finished before Logan left for work at 6:45pm (he works nights).  So a trip to the store was out of the question.
After almost settling with mayonnaise, because I just couldn't think of anything else I saw the ricotta cheese.  I mixed some ricotta with a little bit of 2% milk and it had a very similar texture and consistency as yogurt. SUCCESS! 
And to my surprise it actually tasted really good too!
I plan to someday make this recipe as it was intended to be made, but for now I will just bask in the glory of my success. 
Try it with yogurt!  Don't buy vanilla!  And let me know!
ENJOY!

Pasta Salad with Chicken, Raisins, and almonds
2 T unblanched almonds
1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
S&P
8oz whole wheat penne or other short pasta
1 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional, but highly recommended)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley (I can't believe I actually used parsley)
1 T finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 T fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.  Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until darkened, tossing once or twice, 10-12 min.  Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Place chicken in a large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, season with salt and reduce to a bare simmer.  Cover and cook 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let chicken stand, covered, until cooked through, 12-14 min more.  Remove chicken from liquid.  When cool enough to handle, shred into bite size pieces.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.  Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.  Drain pasta then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, drain well.
In a large bowl, stir together pasta, chicken, yogurt, raisins (if using), parsley, almonds, and lemon zest and juice.  Thin sauce with reserved pasta water if necessary.  Season with S&P.  
Serve chilled or at room temp.
Serves 4.

It is all I can do most days to keep my cat (Olive) from jumping into my photo shoots and eating all the food on the plate. -pictured above
Logan Rating: ***






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